‘Temporary’ bike lanes to be made permanent, council decides

Drivers, cyclists and pedestrians had better get used to the bike lanes installed last year as temporary parts of the city’s ActiveTO initiative in response to the pandemic.

The bikeways are to become become longterm features of Toronto roads.

City council voted Dec. 15 to make seven such “temporary” bike routes permanent.

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These lanes are:

  • Bloor Street, between Avenue Road and Sherbourne Street
  • Dundas Street East, between Sackville Street and Broadview Avenue
  • University Avenue/Queens Park, between Adelaide Street West and Bloor Street West
  • Huntingwood Drive, between Victoria Park Avenue and Brimley Road
  • Danforth Avenue, between Broadview Avenue and Dawes Road
  • Bayview Avenue, between Rosedale Valley Road and River Street
  • Wilmington Avenue, between Finch Avenue West and Sheppard Avenue West

The Danforth bike lane is also to be extended an extra 700 metres east to Victoria Park Avenue.

In addition council approved a report calling for another 100 kilometres of new cycling routes to be created over the next three years.

Overwhelming support

“The ActiveTO bike network was intended as a quick and safe way to help us through the pandemic, by getting essential workers where they were needed to be and by helping people make essential trips,” Mayor John Tory said in a statement released Dec. 16. “Making these routes permanent, and making plans to expand the network even further where it makes sense, is the right and responsible thing to do and it will help more people get around our city safely by bike.”

The motion to make the existing lanes permanent, as well as to add more lanes, received overwhelming support on council. Twenty councillors voted in favour and two opposed it.

An amendment by  Councillor Joe Cressy to also extend the University Avenue bike route another 150 metres from Adelaide Street to King Street, to be installed in summer 2022, was also accepted.

City staff data show that the number of people cycling on the seven bike routes has increased by about 65 per cent since they were installed.

“This increase suggests that the new bikeways encouraged more people to choose cycling more often,” according to today’s city press release. “The  Staff also noted an increase in road safety with minimal travel time impacts for people driving along each of the bikeways.”